MONTEGO BAY, St James — Embattled Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Central George Wright, who returned to Parliament last Tuesday after taking leave of absence amidst allegations of him assaulting a woman, said he used the time away from the House of Representatives to meditate and think about the future.
“I was at home trying to meditate and to think about the way forward and to stay away from the controversy. The controversy really took a toll on me, so I took the time out to gain some strength,” he said.
“If you notice every day someone is at you banging at you and saying some allegations, so I had to regain some strength to manoeuvre what is taking place.”
Wright's leave of absence was to end on June 21.
Yesterday he declined to give reasons for his return to the House of Representatives before that time. He refused, too, to give details of his return, including where he will sit.
He stressed that he is not obligated to speak on the matter regarding the alleged abuse of the woman.
“People already draw their conclusion and say all sorts of things, and I have also given the security forces and the media houses to do their due diligence on George Wright, so I have no reason to speak publicly about it,” Wright said.
He added that, “George Wright should not be a person who should be accused of any form of abuse, not to a woman, not to a boy, not even to an animal. People will tell you that I am not that type of person.”
He said, despite the negative publicity, he is not upset with anyone.
He pointed out that, despite the distraction, he will be working assiduously to further the growth and development of the constituency he represents.
“George Wright is one such person who believes in the development of the people of Central Westmoreland and will be working very hard to ensure that the growth and development takes place there in the constituency and keep dialogue with the people,” he stated.
He expressed gratitude to his constituents, noting that, despite the allegations, “the people of Central Westmoreland really stood up for me...
“I really want to thank the people for their support, and I want to make them know that George Wright is here for the people,” he said.
Wright, who is still on record as councillor for the Petersfield Division in the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, created an upset in the September 3, 2020 General Election when he defeated People's National Party (PNP) incumbent Dwayne Vaz to win the seat for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) for the first time in an election involving both JLP and PNP since 1980. Wright got 8,477 votes to Vaz's 7,288.
Vaz, who won the seat in a by-election following the death of Roger Clarke in 2014, and defended it in 2016, has since indicated that he no longer has an interest in representational politics.
The woman at the centre of the matter is said to be businesswoman Tannisha Singh, who, like Wright, had given a statement to the police, but opted not to pursue the matter any further, according to investigators.
The police also said that if either party wishes to revisit the matter law enforcers were willing to resume investigations.
With calls coming from several angles for him to be disciplined, even though he did not admit to being involved in the incident, Wright was granted a two-month leave of absence in April, but returned to the House of Representatives, briefly, last Tuesday, two weeks before he was scheduled to.
General secretary of the JLP Dr Horace Chang said that Wright had resigned from the organisation, and would serve in the House as an Independent. He pulled up a chair on the Opposition side of the House, which raised the eyebrows of those seated close to him.